Many Londoners move to quiet, rural Essex to escape the city’s frantic pace. Accordingly, many restaurants in Essex are possessed of the kind of quality and elegance you’d normally find in the capital.
Most rural counties have country pubs to be proud of, and here is no exception, with great gastropubs making up the numbers for Essex restaurants. One of the best is the Duke’s Head in Bishop’s Stortford. This rustic venue has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and serves delicious modern British cuisine with global influences. Look out for delicious menu options like grilled Loughton smoked haddock fillet and caramelised red onion & halloumi tart. Several beautifully kept cask ales grace the bar. Though this is a pub, there’s an extensive and interesting wine list of the sort you'd usually find at a top restaurant.
In Witham, head to the highly rated Wildberry Restaurant, located in the Rivenhall Hotel. Original beams and ambient lighting make for a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. On the menu, choose from expertly prepared modern European dishes like fresh grilled salmon served with minted new potatoes topped with a lobster sauce and apple and plum pie served with creme Anglaise. The Rivenhall’s traditional afternoon teas are not to be missed.